Saturday, August 01, 2009

An Open Letter of Invitation to Ingrid Newkirk

After much retweeting on Twitter these past few weeks of Prof. Gary L. Francione's invitation to both Peter Singer and Ingrid Newkirk to participate in a debate with him concerning animal rights and animal welfare, Adam Kochanowicz of The Vegan News has attempted to take it a step further. With his open letter of invitation to Newkirk, specifically, Kochanowicz has offered himself up as potential moderator to a debate between Francione and PeTA's president and co-founder. Whether or not this particular scenario plays itself out, it at very least helps publicize the fact that Prof. Francione has gone on record as being both ready and willing to debate PeTA's approach to animal advocacy with Newkirk. As Kochanowicz writes in his letter:

While Francione recognizes the sincerity of your beliefs, the fundamental differences between yours and Francione's approach make for a disagreement of tremendous importance to how rights may be established for animals. Professor Francione's disagreements with PETA's approach and fundamental philosophy are evident in his Six Principles of the Animal Rights Position where he argues:

3. Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and heterosexism, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being is no more reason to deny the protection of this basic right than race, sex, age, or sexual orientation is a reason to deny membership in the human moral community to other humans.

This appears to stand in disagreement that a campaign that is sexist in nature cannot be considered an animal rights campaign. Francione has also vocalized disagreement with PETA's campaign tactics in the form of billboards and public demonstrations.

In Francione's work, Rain without Thunder, as well as in his other works in which he clairifies the position of the animal rights position, animals as property, and the difference between animal rights and animal welfare, he calls PETA a "New Welfarist" organization. Francione defines a "New Welfarist" position as one which seeks to abolish the property status of animals with welfare reform. Francione therefore disagrees with PETA's awards to slaughterhouse designers and commendation of KFC Canada for using Controlled-Atmosphere Killing.
So there you have it. Whether or not PeTA or Newkirk opt to respond to Kochanowicz remains to be seen, but at the very least, it appears that some sort of official response to Prof. Gary L. Francione, himself, would be in order at this point. After all--ah--what could PeTA possibly have to lose?

4 comments:

Lucas said...

This is me not holding my breath.

: X

Lucas said...

or i guess it would look more like this : O.

Suasoria said...

I'm sure CNN would leap at the chance to broadcast this...

Mylène Ouellet said...

Lucas: Breathing's important. I'm glad that you made the choice to continue doing it. It would be nice, though, wouldn't it?

Suasoria: CNN wouldn't touch this with a 20 foot pole unless someone representing a very anti-AR group was involved.